The time to make your art is now

My tenth-grade art teacher gave me a C.

“Talks too much in class,” she wrote (she wasn’t the first).

I concluded I was not good at art and I stopped making art after that.

How many children stop drawing, stop singing, stop making music or writing poetry, because an adult told them they weren’t “good at it”?

What parts of yourself have you hidden, stunted, denied further expression because someone told you that you didn’t live up to their arbitrary, subjective standard of “good”? Have you buried the artist in you for fear of further reprisal or judgement?

Embrace your inner artist

The good news is, you can’t “kill” your inner artist.

It’s time to take a visit to the dark rooms of your psyche, and find where you hid them. They’re probably napping in the corner of your dusty unused art room, where sheets cover the blank easels of your untapped potential and empty notepads await your renewed interest in words.

Give them a little nudge. Tell them you’re sorry, and invite them lovingly back into your life. I promise they’ll forgive you and be happy to share their gifts.

They might be a little rusty, but then, their job was never to make the “best art in the world.” You may have been misled about the real reasons for making art, but your inner artist always knew the truth.

Why make art?

Make art because it gives you access to the parts of your soul your conscious mind doesn’t have time for. Your conscious mind is very busy dealing with practical matters like what bus you should catch and how you should tell your neighbour off if they’re ever rude to you again.

Make art because it gives expression to your deepest and most complex feelings, which are not easily expressed with the language of logical explanations. It is a form of communication that requires no translation.

Make art because it addresses the twisted or stuck energy blocking your potential, breathes life into it and straightens out the kinks so you can reclaim your life force.

Make art because it helps you make meaning of your struggles, your confusion, or your joy. Channel your big feelings and create big things with them.

Make art because sticking things to other things and painting them green makes you feel good.

Make art because it makes you happy.

You don’t have to show anyone.

Unless you want to.

Art and science

Cognitive neuroscientists have found that making art reduces your cortisol, a hormone related to your stress levels. Art is also effective for inducing mindfulness and “flow states,” where optimal attention and engagement can foster improved emotional wellbeing.

Creative writing can lead to increased self-awareness, confidence, and acceptance, and being creative in any way can increase positive emotions, reduce stress and anxiety, and even improve your immune system.

Not good enough?

It can be difficult to let go of the “not good enough” story, especially if you were taught it at a young age (and most of us were). In a world where people make a living criticising the art of others and other people pay to read it, it’s easy to see how this story can be challenging to throw off.

Maybe your inner artist can help you with this too.

Ask them to help you draw the story, or write it in a poem. Sing the not good enough story while you accompany yourself on the ukulele. As Amanda Palmer says, “Quit the bitching on your blog, and stop pretending art is hard, just limit yourself to three chords, and do not practice daily!”

Art your way through this story. And if the “not good enough” story appears in response to this art, art it out again. Keep going until the story fades. And if it doesn’t, just enjoy the benefits that come with making a lot of art.

For one, you’ll have made a lot of art.

Still feeling blocked?

It can feel hard to find the parts of ourselves that we’ve buried, and you may have some challenges opening those locked dusty rooms. Gestalt means “to make whole,” and we celebrate integration and embracing all parts of self. We would love to help you open your inner art room and claim the treasures within.

To talk to us about finding your perfect supporter on this journey, get in touch with us for a free consultation call.